I wanted to take this opportunity to provide some clarity on the Association’s decision to cancel provincial playdowns in February, 2021.
On January 8th, 2021, the Province extended the Public Health Restrictions which were announced on December 16th, 2020, for an additional two weeks. That means that the current restrictions (http://www.sportnovascotia.ca/) will be in effect until January 25th, 2021.
The Executive Committee, in consultation with the Director of Competitions, met on January 10th and carefully reviewed all options that we had been considering prior to the restrictions being extended. The Executive Committee decided that based on the three options (1) Cancelling the entire year of events as some provinces have already done, (2) Cancelling events up to March 1st with the hope that Nova Scotia will reopen to games and events/competitions; and (3) Postponing events as their deadlines pass in the hope of doing a large scale event in April. While none of the options were good, we felt that trying to get clubs, officials, streaming, rocks and athletes to participate within a week was unreasonable. Especially when no one has played a game since December 16th, 2020.
We knew that many of our members would be disappointed with our decision. These are difficult times but think back to last April – Dr. Strang said very clearly that 2021 was a year of skill development and not one of competition. This was also before a vaccine was an option. We held off as long as we could, but to continue postponing would have been disrespectful to our members.
We have had a number of hard choices this year and this one was not easy. As the President of Nova Scotia Curling, we work with our partners of Community, Culture and Heritage and Sport Nova Scotia. Please remember that when Dr. Strang mentions ‘sports’, there are 50+ registered associations in Nova Scotia so it is very difficult for anyone to give you ‘exact interpretations of the guidelines for sport X’.
Club Curling Operations
I am very happy to announce that through our partnership with Sport Nova Scotia and Communities, Culture and Heritage – All curling clubs can proceed with curling as long as there are no spectators, officials, scoring, games, events or ladder system. The group size is limited to 25 people in the ice shed (remember to include the ice maker and anyone else in the facility). These 24 curlers can play with and against each other for the next two weeks but they have to remain in the same group of 24.
Example: Your curling facility can have 24 people on the ice surface without social distancing curling on January 12. On January 13, the same 24 people can play with and against each other again. The key is that it has to be the same group of 24 people (no spares). As each facility is different in size, the club will need to determine the groups of 24. This will allow our club curlers to return to the club, support our clubs and keep Nova Scotians active until Dr. Strang updates the restrictions.
All cleaning protocols and Public Health Guidelines must remain in place. We will continue to keep you updated on COVID restrictions. Please adhere to all Public Health Guidelines so that we can continue curling.
We have made it clear to the Government of Nova Scotia that we want to get our clubs opened with regular leagues, programs and competitions as soon as possible. We will continue to express this to the Province on behalf of our members.
Thank you for your continued cooperation during these difficult and challenging times.
President, NS Curling